Georgia holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rate of correctional control in the nation. Much of this harkens back to a series of “tough on crime” laws that were passed in the wake of the failed War on Drugs, including 3-strikes laws, mandatory minimums, and recidivist sentencing guidelines. Georgia is also one of nine states that still impose life without parole for nonviolent drug offenses. As a result, many people, mostly Black, have been languishing in prison for decades with no prospect of release for crimes as minor as possession of a few grams of a controlled substance with a street value of under $100.
In response to these unacceptable realities, SCHR launched a campaign to secure the release of people serving extremely long sentences for drug charges. Since we began challenging these sentences in 2015, we have secured the release of over twenty people from prison with time served, including thirteen people who were serving life without parole sentences.